In 1886, sculptor Auguste Bartholdi (1834-1904) fulfilled the wish of Edouard de Laboulaye, president of the Franco-American Union, to erect a monument commemorating the anniversary of American Independence (1776-1886) : Liberty Enlightening the World now dominates New York Bay.
More than the symbol of liberty, inseparable from Auguste Bartholdi's work, the exhibition highlights the hitherto neglected iconographic collection but also unusual objects, which make up the bequest in 1907 by his wife Jeanne Emilie Bartholdi to the Musée des arts et métiers.

The pictures illustrate a human adventure. Taken at Bartholdi's request throughout the entire construction process, they were originally used to promote the construction project of the Statue of Liberty and to raise the necessary funds.

Today, they show, rather movingly, how the combination of art and technique allowed the design and construction of one of the most famous monuments in the world.

nextpages 1 - 2 - 3 - 4
Committing oneself
Project for a monument commemorating American Independence submitted by Auguste Bartholdi, circa 1875.
J. Cheret, print.
© Musée des arts et métiers - S. Pelly

The hand and the torch in beaten copper at the Universal Exhibition in Philadelphia, 1876.
W. Irving Adams, Edward L. Wilson, proof on albumenized paper.
© Musée des arts et métiers - S. Pelly